A vulnerable residential environment is associated with higher risk of mortality and early transition to permanent residential aged care for community dwelling older South Australians

Danielle Taylor, Azmeraw Amare, Suzanne Edwards, Maria Inacio, Renuka Visvanathan

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Objectives: This study examined the impact of the residential environment, measured by the Healthy Ageing/Vulnerable ENvironment (HAVEN) Index, on risk of mortality or entry into Permanent Residential Aged Care (PRAC). Design: A retrospective cohort study using data from the Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA) was conducted. HAVEN Index values were matched to the ROSA by residential postcode. Study setting and Participants: Older individuals living in metropolitan Adelaide and receiving their first eligibility assessment for aged care services between 2014 and 2016 (N = 16,944). Main Outcome Measure: Time to death and entry into PRAC were the main outcomes. Results: A higher HAVEN Index value, which represents a favourable residential environment, was associated with a lower risk of mortality and delayed entry to PRAC. For every 0.1 unit increase in HAVEN Index value, the risk of mortality is 3% lower (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.97, 0.96-0.99) and the risk of entry to PRAC is 5% lower (adjusted subdistribution HR, 95%CI = 0.95, 0.94-0.97) in the first 2 years following aged care assessment. After 2 years, the HAVEN Index was not associated with the risk of transition to PRAC. Conclusion: Place-based health inequalities were identified in Australians seeking aged care services, demonstrating that a better understanding of local neighbourhoods may provide insight into addressing ageing inequalities. Spatial indexes, such as the HAVEN Index, are useful tools to identify areas where populations are more vulnerable to adverse health outcomes, informing responses to prioritise local improvements and health interventions to enable healthy ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberafac029
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Mar 2022


  • Healthy Ageing/Vulnerable ENvironment (HAVEN) Index
  • age-friendly environment
  • aged care
  • frailty
  • older people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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